Tiny Towns: Architects Designer Diary
Written by Peter McPherson and Josh Wood
We had a clear goal when starting the design of Tiny Towns: Architects: add more buildings than the previous expansions without a new mode or ruleset. In short—more Tiny Towns. Plus awesome stickers illustrated by Gong Studios for your building and animal tokens.
Taking a step back, we only added small mechanisms that were impactful and gave experienced players new concepts to delve into while being intuitive and perhaps unseen by most players. We want players to feel comfortable with shuffling this expansion into the base game and never worry about separating them.
There are two ideas we’ve shied away from in designing expansions: an alternative to Cottage and wild resource spaces in building layouts. Naturally, we’re breaking our own rules by including both of these.
Wild spaces are the primary new mechanism in Architects, and in our playtests all players (even first-time Tiny Towns players) understood how they worked without an explanation, but we’ll give you a brief one here: wild spaces accept any resource in building layouts. This offers a subtle but frequently accessible way to get rid of unwanted resources on your board, giving everyone a little more flexibility.
Fans did get us to cave on another unbreakable rule for this expansion: we have a new “Cottage,” a 2-point building that lets you place a resource of your choice when you build it. We are happy with how the Cabin turned out as it fits into the paradigm of “Helpful to new players, combotastic for diehard fans.” If you care about the variety of possible building setups in Tiny Towns, Cabin alone doubles the previous number, which was already a “very large number,” according to our mathematician friends.
We’ve added 4 new cards per building type, the same number as the base game. These cards keep things simple for newcomers while encouraging unusual strategies for experienced players, like focusing on certain quadrants of your board or maximizing your building variety. There’s a gray building that gives 1 point per adjacent unique building type, maxing at 4 points if you can pull it off. There’s also a black building that lets you say “no” to a resource type when other players name it (another unspoken design rule we decided to ignore).
Finally, there are the 5 monuments, each of which is on the quirkier side. The fan favorite is Tinier Town, which literally gives you an extra 2×2 town to build in. We’ll save the others for when you have the game in your hands.
The new scorepad and stickers will feel like a new refreshing thing to add to well played copies, but it will also be a great way for new players to make their copies feel more deluxe from the start.
We think this is the rawest expansion yet and we think it will become a staple expansion for the game. We’re excited to share the next chapter in the world of Tiny Towns with all of you this June on Kickstarter!